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Hints and Tips

Underground Guide to Breast Cancer Walks
Larry Roshfeld wrote a fantastic article which provides a comprehensive view of engaging in fundraising walks.  There is detailed information on what to pack and how to pack, tenting, training, porta potties, etc.

Somethings I didn’t know:

Bring 8 clothespins or black binder clips. They are used to clip the tarp tightly to the top of your tent, otherwise it will flap in the breeze and drive you crazy as you try to sleep.

If you wear a knit hat to bed (e.g. a ski cap), it will keep you much warmer while you sleep, since you tend to lose a lot of heat from your head. And no one but your tent mate will ever know. This is particularly helpful if you don’t have much hair on your head.

As a rule of thumb, your clothing (with the exception of your jacket, sneakers, fanny pack, sleeping bag and air mattress/pad) should fit into a paper grocery bag (just to measure). If you’ve got more than that, you maybe bringing too much.

Click here to read the guide: Underground Guide

Suggestion for caffeine hounds
Julie, a five time walker, had a great hint. If you need an afternoon java jolt, buy a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts prepaid card before the walk. When you dash in for your coffee fix, you won’t need to worry about cash.

What to bring on the walk
For those of you on your first walk, you probably are wondering what to bring on the walk. The number one item is: a smile.

Everyone probably has their own list. This is what I found useful last year.

Fanny pack with 1 water bottle
2 extra pairs of socks day 1
1 extra pair of socks day 2
emery board
mole skin
small scissor to cut mole skin
camera (optional)
sweatshirt or light jacket (last year day one was drizzly and cold in the morning)

Things you do not need
A second water bottle. There are gatorade and water jugs available at all rest stops. Refill your one bottle.
Food – unless you have a special diet, you do not need food. Snacks are available at all rest stops. Lunch is provided.


Swollen hands

Many walkers have noticed that their fingers swell during long walks. Mine are no exception. Even a short training walk results in my fingers becoming so swollen that my wedding band cuts painfully into the skin. Pearl of wisdom: Remove all rings prior to walking.  The swelling can be significant enough that your fingers will feel heavy and tingly.  Mine even become difficult to bend.  read more…

The agony of da-feet

Blisters seem to be the most common complaint of the walkers on walk weekend.  Most blisters are self limiting and once cleaned and wrapped will resolve in a few days.  There is another foot problem that some of the walkers experience.  Black Toenail.     read more…

Make your own sports drinks

You can easily make your own sports drink.  You control the ingredients.  No high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors nor flavors that exist only in a chemistry lab.  As an added bonus to a drink you will enjoy, you will save a lot of money. The recipe below will cost about 6 cents for a 20 ounce sports bottle’s worth of fluid, a whopping savings over the $1 or more you would pay for a bottle of Gatorade or Powerade at the store. read more…

Got to go…got to go… got to go….

Walking long distances has many wonderful aspects; exercise, sight-seeing, meditation, communing with nature.  But when nature calls, it can be a problem.  The Avon Walk foundation has taken care of this most basic of needs during the walk – every two miles there is a long line of green port-a-potties standing at the ready.  They are surprisingly clean and always stocked with plenty of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. So what is one to do on a training walk ?  I came across this website site today –> more…

Suggestion for blister prevention
Kearney provides this suggestion for those who suffer blisters as a consequence of walking distances:  I learned it as a half marathon runner and it seems to work for me. Go to the pharmacy and buy CALLEX  and rub you feet with it before you put on your NON COTTON socks.  I like bike socks since they are cushioned in the toes and the heels and have spandex so they really cling to the foot.  The callex prevents you form rubbing and in my case, prevented blisters on my long walks and runs.  You can buy it in the pharmacy..expensive, but worth the money.  I am  bringing mine in my fanny pack so when I change my socks, I can reapply.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Sharlene permalink
    August 29, 2009 1:36 pm

    Thanks for your information. It was helpful for me while I was prepping for the SF walk in July 09. I ended up with blisters UNDER a couple of my toenails after the 26.2 mile walk. Day 2 I could not put my shoes on to meet my Team for the whole 13.1 miles but met up with them for 6.5 miles in flip flops.
    I did not know I had blisters until Monday when I went to the doctor as I had never seen such a thing. I have so far lost two toenails and think I will lose one more. This is a very small price to pay for the experience I had. My Team-Santa Cruz Saving Second Base will walk in Santa Barbara 2010 with new knowledge.
    Thank you again!

    • August 29, 2009 2:20 pm

      I am sorry to hear about your toes ! Hopefully the nails will grow back quickly. This happened to some people I know, too. I will see if I can find information for preventing nail problems and post for future walkers.

      My blisters tend to be along the sides of my feet and start around mile 15 on day 1. The medical team at the Wellness Village is wonderful and each year they treat the blisters and I am able to walk (a little slower and more carefully) on day 2.

      If you’d like, send me a story about your walk in SF and I will post it on the blog. The CA experience may be different than the NY and Boston walks. Readers would enjoy hearing about it.

  2. November 11, 2009 3:29 pm

    Awesome site! I’m an Avon rep but have not had a chance to do the walk yet. I will be going next year for sure. Great tips!

  3. January 11, 2010 9:42 am

    Great website. I just signed up for SF2010 as a walker after doing crew in Boston in 2009. I am pretty nervous about the training, but I’m going to ease into it.

    • January 11, 2010 10:36 am

      I’ve walked (NY) 3 times and I’ve crewed (Boston and Charlotte) and I have to say I found crewing much more tiring. I think it is all the energy use to cheer on the walkers. The most important thing for me is sneakers and socks. If my feet feel good, I can walk forever. Find the best sneakers and socks combination for you and wear them during practice walks. Good luck! You can do it.

  4. Christine permalink
    March 19, 2010 4:27 pm

    Great site…so much information! Thanks for all the tips and for sharing your experiences! 🙂

  5. Becky permalink
    September 8, 2010 7:14 pm

    Awesome advice. It is my 1st Avon Walk and I am so excited for this weekend @ Santa Barbara. I am planning to do NY walk next year already. Hope I can hold up with you on the future walk.

    • September 8, 2010 11:30 pm

      @Becky – Best wishes for an awesome walk in Santa Barbara. May your walk be blister free.

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